Sep 13, 2019

Andrew Yang's unorthodox pledge: $1,000/month for 10 random families

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Image

Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang announced Thursday that his campaign will give $12,000 to ten randomly-selected families, as a means to amplify and test his signature campaign proposal of a "freedom dividend."

The bull case: Yang believes that monthly government payments of $1,000 to citizens, a form of universal basic income, would help people make ends meet, encourage entrepreneurship, and provide short-term cover for those who lose jobs due to automation.

  • Yang's proposed payouts would not be means-tested, so as to reduce both stigma and bureaucracy.
  • No other presidential candidate has adopted Yang's specific proposal, nor a different form of universal basic income.

The bear case: Yang's announced $120,000 giveaway will be funded via general campaign donations, according to spokesman Randy Jones, which is within a legal gray area.

  • As the New York Times reports, federal election rules prohibit campaign funds from being used on "personal expenses," which are generally defined as expenses that wouldn't exist were there not a campaign.
  • Yang's argument is that the $120,000 is specifically related to the campaign, which is undoubtedly true. But, at the same time, recipients will certainly use the money on personal expenses that have nothing to do with politics (e.g., paying bills, buying food, etc.).

Go deeper: Andrew Yang explains his "freedom dividend"

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Andrew Yang's campaign says it raised $10 million in Q3

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

2020 candidate Andrew Yang's campaign says it raised $10 million in 2019's third quarter, according to Politico.

Why it matters: Yang's Q3 report is more than triple the $2.8 million he raised in the second quarter — a push powered by some strong debate performances that elevated his national profile.

Go deeperArrowOct 2, 2019

Andrew Yang campaign says UBI raffle netted 450,000 entries in 72 hours

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Andrew Yang's 2020 presidential campaign told Politico on Monday that more than 450,000 people entered its universal basic income raffle, raising $1 million in the 72 hours after Yang's appearance in last week's third Democratic debate.

Why it matters: Yang raised $2.8 million during the second quarter, making the contest, which will give 10 families $120,000 over a year, a huge boon for his fundraising efforts.

Go deeperArrowSep 16, 2019

Elizabeth Warren's campaign says it raised $24.6 million in Q3

Elizabeth Warren in Las Vegas for the Giffords/March for Our Lives forum. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Elizabeth Warren's campaign said on Friday that it raised $24.6 million in the third quarter of 2019, putting her just behind Bernie Sanders for this quarter's fundraising among 2020 Democrats.

Why it matters: Warren swore off "big money fundraisers" at the start of this cycle, but she's managed to rake in a massive amount of money from grassroots, small-dollar donors.

Go deeperArrowOct 4, 2019